SA: Apply early to secure your child’s school

By – SAnews.gov.za

As the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) prepares to open the 2019 Online Application System for Grade 1 and 8 admissions on Monday, 16 April 2018, it has urged parents to submit their applications early.

“Starting applications on time enables the department to plan around procurement and delivery of Learning and Teaching Support Material (LTSM) and school furniture. Further, this helps with the provision of educators as well as necessary infrastructure to schools,” said the GDE.

The online application system will officially open on Monday at 8am and close at midnight, 28 May 2018.

Parents must visit www.gdeadmissions.gov.za to apply. The department has advised that parents use Google Chrome to access the online website, as it is faster than other search engines.

A parent can apply for a maximum of five schools per learner using the following options for:

  • Home Address
  • Work Address
  • Sibling (the sibling should not be in Grade 7 or Grade 12 in the current academic year)
  • School of Choice
  • Previous school
  • Schools of Focused Learning/School of Specialisation (for Grade 8 learners)
    Applications for learners with special education needs will be done at the District Office.

The placement of learners will start on 18 July and close on 31 October 2018.

“It is important for parents to confirm or decline placement offers within seven days of receiving the offer. This will fast track placement at the relevant schools. Failure to confirm or decline an offer will result in the offer being withdrawn,” said the department.

The department said it remains confident that online application is the way to go as it has a number of advantages for parents, schools and the department.

“It is convenient for parents, as they can apply from their PC, mobile smartphones or tablet at any time. This has eliminated queues at some of the schools, thereby saving time for the parents.

“Using the online system has made the applications process transparent and fair thus eliminating manipulation and human indiscretions. Parents can check the status of the application by logging on to the system. This means that the department has a statistical view of data of all applications made,” said the GDE.

Since inception in 2017, the system has processed 90 994 applications at inception in 2017. Following this, the department placed 90% of all people that applied timeously.

Online system improved for parents

According to the department, the online system has been refined to improve user experience. Chief among the improvements is the addition of self-help tools such as step-by-step guide tutorials for parents.

“In addition, we have automated the query management system to curtail the turn-around time between lodging a query and receiving a response.

“To curb the duplication and multiplication of profiles for one learner, the system now recognises learners based on their ID number,” said the GDE.

The department appealed to parents to keep their SMSs and other communication generated by the online system safe.

“That is, profiles created to log on online, list of documents requested as well as offers of placement. Parent must therefore provide their own cell phone number to enable communication with the department,” said the GDE.

The department said it will embark on an advocacy campaign to inform parents of the online application process.

“We appeal to parents to apply online and apply on time. Once more, we are humbled by the overwhelming positive response from parents and promise to do everything possible to make the experience incident free,” said the GDE.